Sunday, September 19, 2010

7 Habits of Non Resident Indians - Must Maintain

1.Roots: You can take an Indian out of India but cannot take India out of heart. It is so true. A person, born in the USA with parent migrating from the UK to the USA and with grandparents from Kenya to the UK, takes pride in Indian roots. Supporting financially to parents, brothers and sisters living in India, is still common. Most NRIs visit India as often as possible to meet family, friends, tourism and some visit for extended period to take care of ailing parents.

Steve Rao
2.Politics: While Bobby Jindal was elected the Governor of Louisiana in 2007, more Indian Americans are (were) in the race for office this year. Though Nikki Haley got a lot of media attention, Surya Yalamanchili, Manan Trivedi, Raj Goyale, Ami Bera, Ravi Sangisetty and Reshma Saujani are equally important. Close to home, eloquent and forward looking Steve Rao aspires to become Wake County Commissioner. 

Anoop Desai
3.Professional Diversity: A large number of NRIs work in computer technology and research. Entrepreneur NRIs operate gas stations, hospitality business and retail stores. But it is changing. Be it medicine, health research, pharmaceutical, law, space, education, fitness, construction, reality, accounting or media, NRIs excel. Sanjay Gupta and Aarti are common household names. Navin Andrews and Kaal Penn worth a mention. North Carolina local talent Anoop Desai made it to American Idol top 10.

4.Outdoor, Fitness and Sports: Let us stay active and say goodbye to lethargic life style. NRIs are active outdoor and make the best use of parks, lakes and financial resources to stay active and fit. Walking, jogging, cycling, and exercising at gym is a regular habit for us.

5.Balance: No more ‘All Work No Play’. Balanced life is the key and most NRIs follow it. Besides spending quality time with kids, traveling and sports, pursuing hobbies is common. Of course we love to party and don’t need a reason for that. A lot NRIs support various causes and spend time for betterment of society.

6.Education: For last three years, an NRI won National Spelling Bee championship. Traditionally NRIs have focused on schooling. Having said that, most NRIs view education more than Math, English and Science. Private lessons for music, karate, dance, swimming, sports or any specific interest of child are widespread.

7.Culture: Maintaining culture and values is extremely important for NRIs. Indian culture, values, language, religion, customs and traditions are integrated into life style. Around the year, just like in India, NRIs celebrate Indian festivals with the same zeal and enthusiasm albeit the style may be different. Sometimes it seems exposure to Indian culture is more in the USA as compared to India.

39 comments:

SG said...

These are all good points. I would emphasize one more. Merge with the main stream of the society. I have seen Indians (many and not all) mingle socially only with Indians. Not many are interested in Baseball or Football. But this would change in the near future.

A said...

SG,

I agree with you. Indians usually don't mingle with non Indians. Actually it is more restrictive- mingle with same state Indians or around that area. Football, not many recently except Brandon who is half Indian.

NRIGirl said...

Good job A! Great listing!

One thing I love about NRI's is the pride when one of us makes it BIG! In a huge crowd let's say Jeopardy or Oprah show or in an Airport or even on the streets when we see an Indian our faces light up!!! This speaks for the oneness of heart and pride in our roots!!

NRI's Rock!

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Hi. I was out traveling. Hence, could not reply "sure" for autograph.
Just came back and yours is the first post I read. Nice post.

A New Beginning said...

Nice one A, Indians are a talented lot, when we decide to use hardwork in the right field we come out successful...I wish all of us living in our homeland realise thats we need to play a big role in the society so that all our energies can be used to make India a developed country!

rama said...

I find this post of yours better than the previous one.
As far as mingling with the locals, it is not just the Indians, it is with people from different countries too, they all seem to mingle only with their own types. We Indians have no problem mixing with anybody, but it is that you come a to notice that the westerners are not as free as we are in mingling with different people,it takes a little time for them, and because of the initial hesitation on their part , we tend to leave them alone, and try not to force ourselves on them. But all are not like that.
In my Aerobics class I have always noticed that the foreigners always mingle freely with their own set of friends, they will also be talking between themselves not realising that they are in a class where other people too exist. First it kind of felt odd, but soon one gets used to their behaviour, for they have nothing in common with us to chit chat.
So leaving them alone seems to be the only right thing to do.
Well according to me, a NRI is neither at home in his own country nor in the country to which he/ she has moved. It is sad, but it is the truth.

Babli said...

Very well written. I fully agree with you with all your points. Indians are very much talented and they work hard with full efforts and sincerity not only in India but also in abroad.

Whirlwind said...

Well said!!

chitra said...

This time you have focused on all the positive sides of NRI's felt good reading it. 3 cheers for all NRI's

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

Punam said...

Hi A, this is a very pertinent post. Most of my Sindhi community has part of their families as NRIs and this is a must-read for everyone living abroad. I recently read a newspaper article where I got to know that the top three programmers who make Google work like it does today, are Indians, two of them, classmates from Bangalore. This is something each of us should be proud of. I'll search that article and post it on my blog soon.

Regds, Punam

BK Chowla, said...

NRIs have surely made India proud.But I wonder as to why wont they mix easily?

sm said...

excellent post
Thousand time better than previous one
great

shuchita said...

excellent post

Anonymous said...

nice post, Every point well said. Its never home however long you live, may be for next generation it will be.
sanji

R. Ramesh said...

haahaha why wont they mix easily? bkc has a genuine doubt..answer u NRIs:)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

I definitely think all these things are important, and what's more, I love sampling Indian culture in my own country!

Black Walnut Pearl said...

Very well said! Thank you A, for lifting up our spirits with your positive points.

Tanvi said...

I agree! It is a positive trend ... and I too would only empathize on Indians being diverse but having said that ... Indian who become diverse often leave their Indian roots behind ... so I guess we shld all strive for a good balance and be civil and pleasant to all regardless of their nationality! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree and appreciate you for compiling this.

Insignia said...

Nice points. As you say, NRIs should embrace others; same way with other people as well. Restriction is there within the NRI community; there's a NRI Telugu community; Hindi community, gujju community and so on. First; they should mingle.

Same thing with locals as well. They should embrace people from outside.

A said...

@NRIGirl:- Is not it cool to be able to write such wonderful things about NRIs? NRIs rock.

@Kiran:- Thanks

@Sana:- Thanks. Yes we are talented lot. I am hopeful about India.

@Rama:- Thanks. About mingling with local Americans, there are several reasons. Hesitation is on both sides - partly on Indians with partly with others. Main reason I see is lack of common topic to discuss. A lot of Americans discuss Basketball, Football, Weather etc where as Indian discussion are more children, school and politics. If you find a common topics, things start to work out.

@Babli:- Like other Indians, you are very talented too. Thanks.

@Whirlwind:- Thanks :)

@SM:- Thanks :)

@Chitra:- Yes, this post is on positive aspects that we must continue to maintain. Glad you liked it.

@CheeseCakeMama:- Thanks for your comments and look forward to see you more. Posts are not limited to Indians or India..we got world here.

@Punam:- Thanks for the vote of confidence. I agree with your completely.

@Suchita:- Thanks

@Sanji:- It is home now. Let us we have two homes..America and India..it is always going to be like this.

@Emily:- Yes.I am always glad to read your comments.

@Black Walnut Pearl:- You are welcome.

@Anonymous:- Thanks. Loved to compile this list.

@Tanvi:- You brought a good point. We need to make sure we maintain balance and maintain our culture.

@Insignia:- Absolutely right you are. Mingle among ourselves first and other communities. No need to restrict based on language and state.

@BK Chowla:- Thanks! We do make Indian proud. See my answer to Ramesh for mingling part.

@Ramesh: - Answer to your question requires a new post. In short, I think it is lack of common subject to talk.

Dr.Antony said...

This is the same situation any where in the world.This attraction to the parent country will probably last till this generation.For their children,probably there is nothing much to remember.My brothers children were born and brought up in Germany.They take it as an ordeal to come to India on vacation.After few days,they pack up and go back,earlier than planned.I also know of people who don't like to be reminded of their origins.

sujata said...

I agree to this post completely.

A said...

@sujata,

Thanks

@Dr Antony,

I think NRIs in the USA are different. I have seen a lot of 2nd and 3rd generation Indians very keen on going to India. Please note we have a large Indian population here and practically we live in India from culture and people perspective. Grocery store, gas station, doctor, dentist.work..pretty much every where we deal with Indians. We celebrate Indians festivals too.

In Germany Indians population is small and hence NRIs in Germany have to change to become part of locals. Speaking German is essential to start with.

Thanks for comments. It is another perspective we need to think.

Samvedna said...

very good post.In US language is english so Indians feel very comfortable and then evrything Indian is available there and I have seen that they are more traditional and Indians than Indians living in India.
But still they dont integrate much with locals, everywhere they have their own groups.

Bikramjit said...

Well said and all the points are so true ...
We have done so well , I just hope and pray that the politicans dont bring the same politcs culture from india to here.. thats the only thing I am worried about ...

Rest as you have mentioned we have done very well.. Good one ...

I will tell you a story, I was in Australia where i met a Sikh Family, They follow all the SIKH rituals but they are Australian, they are about 4th or the 5th generation there, it was amazing .. Tom Singh, Alexander Singh.. I was surprised they were so well knitted into the australian society .. loved it ...

Neha said...

I keep discussing this with my NRI friends..in fact 2-3 blogs that I follow are of NRIs..it always feels wonderful to read how much they try to be as close to Indian roots as possible..yes, some prefer to mingle only with indians, pakistanis or like Insignia said - their community people, but things are changing now..

nice post :)

A said...

@Samvedna:- Yes some NRIs are more traditional than people in India. Some follow the same tradition as they used to years back when they left India. India has changed but the traditions are kept alive here. Thanks for pointing out.

@Bik:- I agree but very unlikely NRI politicians will become corrupt. Very very unlikely because they want to maintain clean image. May be if more than 50% of Congress is NRIs, then there is a chance but we are a very small number so that is not going to happen in near future.

Where in Oz did you meet this family? Queensland, Northern part of NSW and South Australia - all of them have a sizable Sikh population in the country. I have actually stopped by at a Sikh family house in South Australia in wineries. Around 100 families in that village and all of them come 200 years back - i think so but not sure but for sure several generations back. They maintain sikh culture pretty well.

@Neha:- Yes. NRIs are very close to roots. Just one point, I have not seen many NRIs mingling with Pakistanis...mostly they stick with their own communities..Gujjus, TATA (Telgua), Tamil ...all states.

Anonymous said...

Dear A,

Whatever you may write like 'The habits we should retain' or 'The habits we should change' will not make any difference. Because India will never change and will never lift their standards high in the eyes of Developed nation.
CWG is total fiasco that everybody knows. Every American is aware of the situation. Now a day if I look at any American I feel as if he is having a conversation in his mind about us 'Look at these losers. They belong to filth.'
Indian politician are so dishonest, greedy, unprofessional (in fact this is the reality of most Indians...we only think about ourselves because thats what we learn since childhood). These high profile people were busy pouring money in their bank accounts in spite of several reminders about the project being delayed.
In fact...one can forgive them for this mistake and take furious rain for granted. But after listening to the some of the worst explanation by Indian so called politicians my blood was boiling and I was so ashamed of being an Indian. The worst comment was from that ba***** Lalit Bhanot where he proudly mentioned that Indian standard of hygiene is different than the Westerners and its not a big issue of being ashamed. How could he even dare to give such statement publicly. He meant to say that Indians sleep with stray dogs or Indians swim with tadpoles in swimming pool.

I am posting the link for reference. Lets watch and feel the pain of being Indian the way I am feeling.

www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/cwg-from-tall-promises-to-fallen-bridges/165150






Dr.Sameena Prathap
said...

Hi,

My first time ehere...Lovely thoughts and facts...

Dr.Sameena@

www.lovelypriyanka.blogspot.com

A said...

@Dr Sameena,

Thanks

A said...

Dear Anonymous,

I totally agree with you. Organization of Common Wealth Games is embarrassment. Very small number of Americans care about CWG. Think about NRIs living in the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ, the countries who are participating in CWG and are following CWG more actively than America.

I feel very bad too. Same like you.

R. Ramesh said...

Also, NRIs dont get the help they deserve...the moment one leaves india, everyone thinks s/he becomes a millionaire..u should c the plight of indian workers outside..boss..less said the better..

A said...

Ramesh,

I agree with you. Personally for me that was not the case. My family knew that life is difficult overseas especially in the beginning.

Things have changed a lot now in India and people are aware. However they still want NRIs to behave like millionaires.

Devie said...

I loved both your posts in this series!
Not only true, but thoroughly entertaining too. Definitely going to share this with friends :)

A said...

Thanks Devie. Hope to see you more.:)

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